How Music Got Its Edge Back: Indie Meets Rap

Hip-Hop and rap are experiencing a strong resurgence of late (don’t call it a comeback!). After years of indie rock and pop ruling the airwaves, young people are looking for a new sound to call their own, branching out into electronic and rediscovering rap.At SXSW this year, fans could catch shows from heavy hitters including Jay-Z, Eminem, 50 Cent, and Wiz Kalifa, as well as lesser-known acts.Dr. Dre and Snoop Dogg are headlining Coachella this summer.

The meshing of the indie and rap scenes is having an interesting effect on music. Taking a cue from indie bands, newer acts like Azealia Banks are creating a new sound that could almost be called “Indie Rap.” The Harlem-native’s songs are most definitely “R-rated” and fierce, but instead of rhyming about “thug life,” she raps about urban life, making her badass, but also relatable. It’s that cross-over potential that brings both rap fans and indie fans to her shows.

Urban music needed an infusion of edge to recapture the attention of young people. Hip-hop legends like Jay-Z and Kanye have gone mainstream, getting wider airplay and gaining older fans (while simultaneously cleaning up their style, rapping less about illegal activities and more about luxury lifestyle). Young music fans were looking for something to call their own — music their parents wouldn’t listen to but that they could still relate to. It’s the same reason they’re straying away from the indie genre: hipsters and soccer moms aren’t supposed to like the same music.

In the same vein as acts like Odd Future, Azealia Banks is making her mark by being irreverent and very NSFW, simultaneously alienating older audiences and intriguing young Millennials. The video for her biggest hit so far, “212,” has been viewed more than 7.5 million times, but contains so many naughty…

 
 
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Millennial News Feed

Quote of the Day: “Most already-made Halloween costumes only have sexy options. Sexy Cat, Sexy Pirate. It gets old, and I don't like dressing up that way.” –Female, 18, CA

Is the bridal shower dead? Not quite, but many brides today (Millennials) have no interest in the traditional trappings of the event, and increasingly are opting to skip it altogether. Some don’t want to burden their friends with more costs, and others find that the bachelorette party is more than sufficient for female bonding. But one other major reason: they just don’t need them anymore. There's been close to a 900% rise in cohabitation before marriage over the last 50 years, which means couples have all the toasters and sheets they need. (Racked)

Math students have a new magic-like tool to solve problems. PhotoMath is an app that solves simple math equations, and “provides step-by-step instructions explaining how it got the answer.” Users simply take a picture of the equation, and text recognition technology can solve anything from fractions to linear equations. Of course, concern that the app will be used more for cheating than learning is a pretty big concern. (Mashable)

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When FXX aired a marathon of The Simpsons this September, they shattered ratings records with the 18-49-year-old audience. Now the channel has released Simpsons World, a streaming app dedicated to the show, which includes lots of features beyond access to the entire Simpsons series. Users can look at the popularity of each episode, watch “clips that rock,” and a “rarities” section of video that even die-hard fans might not have seen. (Slate)

Five Below has become the fastest-growing teen retailer in the U.S. by jumping quickly onto kid and teen trends. The store was founded with the idea that kids could afford everything offered with their allowance money, and unlike other dollar stores Five Below skips the “necessities,” instead focusing on the fun things that kids would want. Though teens are fickle customers, and the store’s success depends on finding the new items that resonate with them, so far they have managed to steadily grow during a difficult time with their tactics—and with no online presence to speak of. (BuzzFeed)

Did you know searching Ypulse.com surfaces all related data that we have on the topic you need, pulled from our ongoing bi-weekly surveys of Millennials 14-32-years-old? Gold subscribers can click on “show all data” to explore in-depth tables that breaks down statistics by gender, race, ethnicity, education, and location. It’s instant, current data about the Millennials generation, at your fingertips. (Ypulse)

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